Beasts of the Southern Wild received mostly acclaim from its Sundance debut earlier this year with several critics already calling it the best film of 2012. Our own Kevin Kelly called it “magical and moving” and “utterly amazing” in his review, and that guy’s only occasionally wrong. The film follows a young girl living in a a small, rural community just to the left of reality that receives word of an impending disaster caused by flood-ravaged levees. She sets out an adventure that sees imagination and the real world collide as she tries to save her father and town. And that’s even before the prehistoric porcine creatures arrive on scene.
The trailer’s release has reportedly brought some bloggers to tears as they watched the images play across the screen, but while you (and I) may not have the same reaction there’s no denying its visual appeal. Think Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke meets Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are and you’ll have an idea what to expect. Maybe.
Check out the trailer below. Just be sure you have some Kleenex handy. Or…not.
If nothing else, it definitely looks like a visually poetic film. The cinematography and framing are fairly beautiful, and Quvenzhané Wallis looks to be a charismatic little lead. The official synopsis from Fox Searchlight sets up the film’s magical realism nicely.
In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.”
Fox Searchlight releases Beasts of the Southern Wild on June 27th.